High Park Neighbourhood – Why Living Here Is So Popular!
Blending the energy of the nearby shops with the calm experienced living close to the largest parkland found in Toronto defines the community after which this area is named, High Park.
The irregular boundaries of this neighbourhood surrounding the park stretch to the west beginning at Runnymede Road along Bloor Street, north to Dundas Street reaching south-east along Parkside Drive to Roncesvalles. There is no doubt the park is the heart of this vibrant and sought after neighbourhood that has become one of the most popular pockets in Toronto attracting eclectic groups of artistic types and professionals ranging from painters, designers, architects, performers, writers, teachers to doctors and more. The schools are exceptional and this diverse neighbourhood is ideally surrounded by three remarkable and unique shopping districts.
An easy stroll finds you in the Bloor West Village with its delightful mix of bakeries, café’s, deli’s, fruit and vegetable markets, flower shops, restaurants and trendy boutiques. You’ll never run out of choices with different eateries. The street is lined with fruit and vegetable markets displaying their produce in baskets under their umbrellas. Living in High Park also has you close to the area becoming one of the trendiest shopping spots in Toronto called The Junction, located along Dundas Street. A hip area with an array of neat shops from salvaged furniture, antiques, art shops, alternative health practitioners, organic restaurants and grocers, bars, art studios, craft markets, eclectic and unique home furnishings and even an art school. And last but not least, the High Park residents love having Roncesvalles Village so close, as well. Some of the best food in the city is found within these west hoods! Roncy Village as it’s known, is famous throughout the city for its Polish cuisine. There’s a great mix of restaurants from Eastern European to Indian, Greek, and Thai. A medley of ethnic delights! This neighbourhood with its olde world shops has a wonderful ambiance and pulse, felt by just strolling along the street with its markets, outdoor patios and bistros. You’ll often find people at these outdoor patios relaxing with their coffee or chatting with friends. The Revue Theatre, on Roncesvalles Avenue is a community run not-for-profit theatre that is very special to all of the local residents.
While people are driving across the city to access High Park, the locals are usually strolling over at their leisure. There are so many reasons to keep coming back. The park’s landscape is hilly with ravines that extend the full distance, with the perimeter of the park forested. Grenadier Pond is at the western edge of the park and is home to many happy swans and various species of birds and marsh wildlife, and sometimes skaters in the colder winter months.
You can feast your eyes on the ornamental gardens, proudly groomed. The park zoo which is nestled in a ravine keeps bison, llamas, peacocks, deer, highland cattle, yaks and sheep. It’s open year-round and always admired by the children of all ages regardless of how many times they see the animals. The Grenadier Café is a popular restaurant with an outdoor patio area that’s filled with happy folks stopping in for some refreshments or food while enjoying their time in the park. On certain weekends, you can find an organic market in the parking lot area. During the summer, Shakespearean plays, called Dream in High Park are shown in the amphitheatre. Picnic baskets and blankets cover the area, waiting patiently for the magic to begin. The soccer fields, baseball diamonds, tennis courts and many trails and paths offer lots of sporting opportunities for the community.
Automobiles can enter the park, as there are parking areas, but most of the locals walk or bike in. From spring to fall, a funny little red train which is a decorated tractor pulling a wagon, runs a tour of the park every 30 minutes. Hop aboard!
This is Toronto’s version of New York City’s – Central Park!
The number one commonality amongst the area residents is their appreciation of the ageless beauty of the different architectural styles of homes found in High Park. These original buildings were built during the late 1800’s to early 1900’s. Lining the winding treed streets of this neighbourhood, you can find beautiful and impressive Victorian, Edwardian, Craftsman, and Tudor styled homes. Generally the properties are larger and there’s a blend of spacious semi-detached homes with detached properties, with them often having a third storey.
Some of the streets feel like you’re going back in time with their stately mansions of yesteryear. These homes are a stunning departure from the ordinary and because of their vintage, they can feature such loved details as high ceilings, brick and stone, turrets, large open verandas, leaded windows, wood details, fireplaces, exposed brick, period moldings, and ceiling medallions. Many of these stately homes, rather than being knocked down and replaced, have been lovingly restored and renovated with modern updates marrying the old world character and timeless craftsmanship.
Street parking is the norm around here with some laneways, front yard parking and some of the larger homes having private drives. Like the surrounding areas, those living in High Park, often find themselves not using their automobiles as often or even selling that second car. Especially for those working in the downtown core, being able to hop on the subway, actually does become the better way!
If you love the area but a house is not for you, you’ll find a choice of different Condominium and Loft developments surrounding this pocket. Here is everything from older buildings to exciting and new, with some interesting conversions. This area is an outstanding place to live!
The High Park art lovers are also able to enjoy some of the various art shows that happen each year. The Bloor West Village Art Tour, The Junction Arts Festival and the Queen West Art Crawl are all popular!
This area enables easy access for motorists to travel. You’re only minutes away from the Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard. It’s incredibly quick and easy to travel either to the downtown core of Toronto or west to Pearson International Airport. Many urbanites are also enjoying the convenience of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Centre Airport.
The Martin Goodman trail at the foot of The Lakeshore stretches from the Eastern to Western Beaches and is a huge draw for the area fitness enthusiasts. You can find a number of water activities along the waterfront being offered from sailing, canoeing to rowing clubs.
“It was after I was first introduced to High Park, many years ago, that I fell in love with the area and made the decision to move to West Toronto. I think that many people have felt the same way after visiting this magical place!”